Celebrate the beauty and wonder of fall with wines from top Hamptons and North Fork vineyards! Not only is it grape-harvesting season, but it’s also the time of year when many new vintages are released. We’ve got the scoop on some of the best wineries and vineyards, and all the delicious vino and special events they’ve got in store for you.
Cuvée Carnaval Rouge, from Sparkling Pointe in Southold, came out in May, but this 2014 wine pairs perfectly with the warm spices associated with autumn. Notes of dark fruits and elderberry match the deep red color of the sparkling wine. It’s perfect for a festive evening with friends. Also keep an eye out for Sparkling Pointe’s Excellence XO Brandy, slated for release this fall. “It’s a distilled spirit made from our chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier grapes. With notes of honey and vanilla, this handcrafted spirit is best enjoyed next to a warm fire on a snowy winter night,” says Kelsey Cheslock, the marketing, social media and Tasting House coordinator at Sparkling Pointe. From November 12 through December 17, Sparkling Pointe will host “Eat, Drink and Be Sparkling,” a festive food and wine pairing series at their Tasting House, which is open year-round. To learn more about all of Sparkling Pointe’s delicious offerings, visit spaklingpointe.com.
Over at Martha Clara Vineyards in Riverhead, things have taken a citrusy turn. Martha Clara’s first ever orange wine, L’Orange, will be released in the fall, along with their 2013 Estate Reserve Merlot with a palate of cedar, black cherry and dried cranberry making for a rich, lustrous flavor. “We’re also very excited about the release of our 2012 Island Series Syrah, which is a co-ferment of syrah and viognier made in the Côte-Rôtie style,” says Juan Eduardo Micieli-Martinez, Winemaker and General Manager at Martha Clara Vineyards. With notes of black pepper and chocolate-covered cherries, the 2013 Island Series Syrah is perfect for pairing with hard cheeses and pasta dishes. Other fall goings-on at Martha Clara include a concert series with Eagles tribute band The Fast Lane on September 24. Oenophiles can catch Martha Clara’s weekly YouTube series, called MCV Farm News, for the latest vineyard events. “It’s a series that features happenings in the vineyard, winery and in the area. Each episode is under 90 seconds,” says Micieli-Martinez. You can find the YouTube series, and more information about Martha Clara Vineyards, at marthaclaravineyards.com.
The Lenz Winery in Peconic has something very special this season: a 2004 Cuvée RD, which is a sparkling wine. “RD” stands for récemment dégorgé (recently disgorged) and is an aging process that imbues the wine with a nutty earthiness. There’s also a 2013 Malbec and 2013 Pinot Gris waiting in the wings. Jerol Bailey, director of sales at the winery, talks about upcoming events at The Lenz: “This fall we’ll have live music and food trucks on the property every Saturday and Sunday. On December 10, we’ll be holding an open house featuring local businesses for gift ideas for the holidays.” To learn about all the fabulous events and wines at The Lenz Winery, visit lenzwine.com.
October 13 is the date of this year’s Harvest Dinner Party at Jamesport Vineyards. It’s a dinner in the vines created by Chef Dan Edgett, with multiple courses paired with Jamesport Vineyards wines. And Friday nights at the vineyard feature wine and food—including delicious wood-fired flatbreads. Visit jamesportwines.com for more info.
Osprey’s Dominion Vineyards in Southold keeps the summer party going into the fall with live music outdoors on Saturday and Sunday every weekend through October, weather permitting. You can bring food to have a picnic, and there are a variety of outdoor games to play. Of course, there’s also some serious wine to drink; in fact, Osprey’s Dominion recently took home a passel of prizes from the 2016 New York Wine and Food Classic. They were honored for the best Cabernet Sauvignon (for their 2013 Reserve), best Pinot Noir (for the 2014), and got a gold medals for their Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc Dessert Wine and the 2012 Cabernet Franc. Find the vineyard at ospreysdominion.com.
This year, Wölffer Estate Vineyard in Sagaponack is hosting its annual Harvest Party on October 8 (raindate October 9). As happens every year, there will be live music, delicious food, lots of Wölffer wine and cider, barrel-rolling, grape-stomping, and much more. Exciting and new at the Harvest Party for 2016: a Lederhosen and Dirndl Contest for kids and adults! There will be prizes for attendees who come dressed in the best classic German clothing. Also, Wölffer will be raffling off a jeroboam (a three-liter bottle) of their sold-out Summer in a Bottle wine. For more information, visit wolffer.com.